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Wireless Telephone Service

Wireless cellular mobile telephone service is a high-capacity system for
providing direct-dial telephone service to automobiles, and other forms
of portable telephones, by using two-way radio transmission.
Cellular mobile telephone service was first made available in the top
markets in the United States in 1984, and in a very short time has achieved
considerable growth and success. During its first four years in the United
States, from 1984 to 1988, it experienced a compound annual growth of
more than 100 percent. By 1990, its subscribers in the United States
numbered 5.3 million; by 1996, its subscribers numbered over 44 mil-
lion. Cellular mobile telephone service is also a great success in Europe
and Scandinavia, where growth rates rival, and in some cases surpass,
those in the United States.
Cellular telephone service was initially targeted at the automobile
market, but small portable units have extended the market to nearly


216 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems

everyone on the move with a need to telecommunicate and now includes
small personal units that can be carried in a pocket. One wonders
whether a wrist radio telephone is only a matter of a few more years. The
cellular principle has been suggested on a very low power basis to create
community systems that could bypass the copper wires of the local
loop—so-called wireless local loop (WLL).
The basic principles of wireless cellular telecommunication are
described in this chapter along with a discussion of the various technologi-
cal aspects of a wireless system that must be specified. These basic con-
cepts serve to introduce the descriptions of the more popular specific
implementations, such as the Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS)
and the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication. AMPS is
described in some detail in this book, since it was the first system to be
implemented and also because its details serve to illuminate the differ-
ences between it and other, newer systems. AMPS of the 1980s is based
on the analog technology; GSM and many other newer systems of the
1990s are based on digital technology. Standards are a big issue with cel-
lular wireless telephone service, and many different countries have each
adopted their own unique approach, with even different systems in use in
the same country, as in the United States.
Wireless telecommunication is also known generically as personal
communication service (PCS), although the term PCS is sometimes
meant to refer exclusively to newer all-digital systems operating at 1,900
MHz. The term PCS has also meant the overall concept of being able to
reach a person anywhere at anytime by any means of telecommunication.
Because of all these different interpretations, to eliminate any confusion,
the term PCS is avoided in this book.
The original AMPS cellular system and a newer digital version oper-
ate in a range of radio frequencies from 824 to 894 MHz. Since the
demand for wireless service was so great, in the mid-1990s the FCC allo-
cated additional frequencies in the 1,900-MHz band for wireless service
and then auctioned off the channels to the highest bidder. The channels
were assigned to create six blocks of channels for as many as six separate
service providers. The prices paid in the auction by many were far too
high to be commercially viable, although in theory, the government made
billions of dollars. By the end of the 1990s, a number of the firms who had
bid successfully had filed for bankruptcy, with the government collecting

Wireless Telephone Service 217

little. The lesson learned is that auctions are not the best way to allocate
spectrum. Spectrum should probably be leased on a yearly basis with
recurring fees.
A form of local or neighborhood two-way radio service, called a per-
sonal communication network (PCN), has been proposed. There are also
cordless telephones that work over about 100 feet and enable people to
walk about the home talking on the telephone. These cordless phones use
two-way radio and connect to the standard telephone line. Modern cord-
less telephones utilize digital technology and, though fairly sophisticated,
do not support the handoff feature that makes cellular mobile telephone
service such a success.
This chapter describes the more popular wireless cellular mobile
communication systems and ends with a description of the various new
satellite telecommunication systems that are being developed and intro-
duced. But first, a short history of the development of cellular service in
the United States.

A short history
Prior to cellular mobile telephone service, mobile telephony was pro-
vided by conventional two-way radio, which allowed only a few dozen
two-way radio channels in a given service area. A single, centrally
located, high-power radio transmitter served a whole area about 50 miles
in diameter.
The service in an area was provided either by a wireline common car-
rier (such as a Bell company), an independent telephone company, or a
radio common carrier. The very small number of users who could be
served in a given area meant that the service was quite costly, and the lim-
ited capacity of the service meant that many potential customers went
unserved. Cellular mobile telephone service solved the problem of con-
gestion, and its mass market acceptance made mobile service affordable
to many customers.
Cellular mobile telephone service had lengthy delays in making its
way to commercial introduction and availability. These delays were the
result of the federal regulatory process. But once it was introduced, cel-
lular service was and remains a phenomenal success.

In March 1977. The subsequent test was successful. The FCC opened 40 MHz of the 800-MHz radio band to any qualified common carrier. and by a nonwireline common carrier. but these costs have dropped substantially as the service has become more widespread and used. Since the FCC had decided that it would be in the best interests of the public if competition were stimulated in cellular telephony. In early 1975. and in 1983 the Chicago system offered the first commercial cellular service in the United States. The mobile equipment itself is available from a number of vendors. however. which is a subsidiary of the local telephone company. As might be expected. This equipment was initially costly. AT&T had applied earlier to the Federal Communications Com- mission (FCC) for permission to offer an advanced mobile phone service (AMPS) based on the cellular principle. Cellular service in each geographic area is provided by a wireline common carrier. The radio spectrum space used for cellular service is divided in half to accommodate the two carriers serving a geographic area. The wireline carriers were restricted to one license per area. there was an initial flood of appli- cations to the FCC to obtain a license to provide cellular service. The FCC then encouraged competing applications to negotiate some form of consolidation. the FCC granted authorization to the Illinois Bell Telephone Company to install and test a developmental version of AMPS in Chicago. thus bringing competition to cellular service. This regulation was finally approved in 1982. The technology to make the service economically feasible was not available. . they issued two licenses in each area so that the public would have two service pro- viders from which to choose.218 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems The basic principles of mobile cellular telephone service were formu- lated at Bell Labs in the late 1940s. the FCC reallocated a portion of the UHF television band so that it could be used for cellular telephone service. particularly for the nonwireline carriers. but the FCC wanted to deter- mine how to introduce competition into the provision of cellular service. The delays in offering cellular serv- ice were caused by the over ten years spent by the FCC in drafting regula- tion to stimulate competition. All this took more time and further delayed the introduction of cellular service. until the early and mid 1970s.

This alone is a substantial increase over the few dozen channels previously available with conventional mobile telephony. a 50-MHz bandwidth in the 800-900 MHz radio band was used to create 832 two-way radio channels. mobile telephone service was obtained from a single high-power transmitter that served a single large geographic area. A larger number of users leads to lower prices for the mobile telephone instrument. However. with each cell being served by its own transmitter. The cell configuration is chosen to minimize interfer- ence caused by the reuse of the channel—hence the use of the word “cel- lular. The channels are then reused in adjacent clusters. Cells serv- ing a dense area with many users are usually allocated more channels. cells can be further subdivided. the cells can be depicted as hexagons. Thus. The entire geo- graphic area is thus divided into cells. With cellular mobile telephone service. The low power of the transmitter means that the same channel can be used again in another part of the geographic area without causing interference. This feat is accomplished by the use of a number of low-power radio transmitters. or split. although additional cell sites with antennas and network equipment are required. Wireless Telephone Service 219 Basic principles Prior to cellular telephony. each serving a small area. If congestion starts to appear. and the pattern of the cluster is repeated over and over again in the metropolitan area to be served.” Usually. As shown in Figure 9. This mobility clearly extends across cells. The typical cell has a radius of about 6 to 12 miles. or cell. A key feature of cellular mobile telephone service is the mobility of the user. and this leads to further increases in demand. and thus there is a need to track the user and to change radio channels for different cells. seven cells are taken to form a cluster. The spatial separation of cells using the same radio channels coupled with their low power reduces any cochannel interference to acceptable levels.1. within the larger geographic service area. The service could serve only a small number of users and was very costly. the sys- tem can grow gradually to serve more users as demand increases. the actual shape of a cell varies with terrain and radio propagation. . into smaller cells using even lower powered transmitters. the total number of customers served is increased further by reusing channels in the same geographic area.

■ Handoff from one frequency to another. the basic features of wireless cellular telephone serv- ice are as follows: ■ Low-power transmission.220 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems A2 A1 A3 A4 A5 A4 C2 A6 C1 C3 B2 C4 B1 B3 C5 C7 B4 C6 B5 B7 B6 Figure 9. a technique called in-band signaling. .1 Cells are organized into clusters. ■ Frequency reuse through clusters of cells. The clusters are then repeated over and over again to cover the whole geographic area served by the system. The information necessary to cause a handoff is sent in the downlink speech channel. and is a key feature of cellular service. Although the cells are depicted as hexagons. their actual shape is quite irregular and depends on the terrain and radio propagation. To summarize. This dynamic tracking of the user along with changes in radio channel is called a handoff. Another essential feature is the use of a shared radio channel that is used to broadcast the numbers of the mobile units being called—a feature called paging. with most cellular systems using seven cells per cluster.

Wireless Telephone Service 221 ■ In-band signaling. then there is a strong probability that the signal at the other antenna is strong. there are three or six such sectors per cell. Typically. The focusing of the antenna directional pattern to create pie-shaped sectors within a cell is called sectorization. An elec- tronic switch compares the two signals and chooses the stronger. Multipaths can be reduced by replacing omnidirectional antennas at the base stations with directional antennas that concentrate the radio sig- nal in a narrow beam. if one channel is in a fade. This is known as switched space diversity and was used at one time by at least one manufacturer of mobile units for the Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) system in the United States. One possible solution to the fading problem is the use of two receiv- ing antennas at the mobile unit. Some of these multiple signals arrive out of phase with respect to each other and accordingly cancel. In this way. The effects of fast fading can also be reduced by sending the radio sig- nal in a number of frequency channels. and ■ Paging. Multipaths Cellular telephony uses high-frequency radio transmission. This is accomplished by hopping across all the channels in a known repetitive pattern. which is par- ticularly susceptible to reflections that lead to multiple paths from the transmitter to the receiving antenna. The two antennas are separated by about half a foot. some of the fading problems caused by multiple-path (multipath) reflections can be corrected. All the specific implementations of the various terrestrial mobile cel- lular systems around the world are based on these basic features and principles. These cancellations cause fast fading of the received signal as the automo- bile is traveling down the road. thereby reducing reflections. If the signal at one antenna is in a deep fade. Signal processing can be used to minimize the subjective annoyance of this fading by filling in missing portions of the speech signal. the others most likely are not and most of the signal . In this way.

This technique was used to increase noise immunity for the low-power radio signal. Atal in the 1960s. The differences in various implementations are how individ- ual radio channels are shared by users. Newer cellular systems encode the speech signal in a digital form. The frequency bands used for cellular were initially centered around 900 MHz. analog speech signal is transmitted directly. Newer systems operate as high as 1. how the speech signal is encoded. and it was based on the technology of the 1980s. The original AMPS system uses radio channels that are 30 kHz wide. Voice coders—called vocod- ers—have been investigated for decades. which radio bands are used. Broadband frequency modulation is used for the radiofrequency modulation in the AMPS system. adaptive equalization of the received radio signal is used to combat multipaths.222 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems will get through. A base- band. they all are . The bands are divided into a number of radio channels with differing widths.900 MHz. Since all cellular systems use a number of separate radio channels. S. some form of compression is usu- ally used to encode the digital signal. Hence. Frequency hopping is used in the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication. depending on the implementation. Forms of phase-shift keying are used in some of the digital systems. In effect. The radio carrier for each channel is modulated through a variety of methods. Most of the encoding schemes are a variant of a dynamic digital filter with varying coefficients whose values are obtained from linear predictive coding (LPC)—a technique invented at Bell Labs by B. and the encoding used in cellular systems draws heavily on the results of this research. but bandwidth is severely constrained in cellular systems. In newer digital cellular mobile systems. the reflected signals are subtracted from the received signal through the use of digital filters that dynamically change their characteristics in response to differ- ing situations. Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) was the first system to be implemented. and how the radio carrier is modulated. Some newer digital systems have radio channels that are 200 kHz wide. Digital encoding increases the bandwidth needed to sent the encoded signal. Implementation differences All cellular mobile systems are based on the features and principles listed previously.

A new method for multiple access that is being used in some newer digital wireless systems is code-division multiple access (CDMA). They are illustrated in Figure 9.2. the same band of frequencies is shared by all the calls. or (more usually) a combination of both. With CDMA. each signal corre- sponding to a telephone conversation is assigned its own exclusive band of frequencies for the duration of the call. The newer systems attempt to increase their overall capacity by sharing a radio channel among a number of voice signals. Another form of spread-spectrum technology is frequency hopping. these are called frequency- division multiple access (FDMA) and time-division multiple access (TDMA). All the spectrum-spread signals are then sent on top of each other simulta- neously and are separated at the receiver by an inverse application of the unique codes. each digital signal is assigned a unique multiplicative code. . Wireless Telephone Service 223 based on a form of frequency-division multiple access (FDMA) at the radio-frequency level. Multiple access In the older AMPS system. with a short burst of digital data from each conversation being sent alternately in a repetitive pattern. This is accomplished through either time-division multiple access (TDMA) or code-division multiple access (CDMA). in which short bursts of data from each signal hop from one fre- quency to another in a known pattern. a combination of FDMA and TDMA. The term “multiplexing” refers to the combining together of a number of separate signals to share a communication medium. This sharing through multiplexing is also referred to as multiple access and is usually accomplished through frequency-division and time-division mul- tiplexing. TDMA is usually performed in a number of separate bands—in effect. In frequency-division multiple access (FDMA). which has the effect of spreading the spectrum to cover the entire assigned band. a single voice signal occupies each entire 30- kHz radio channel. In multiple access terminology. In time-division multiple access (TDMA).

. short bursts of data hop from one frequency to another in a known pattern. (b) in time-division multiple access (TDMA).2 Various means are used to facilitate multiple access to a communication medium: (a) in frequency-division multiple access (FDMA). in effect. with a short burst of digital data from each conversation being sent alternately in a repetitive pattern. (d) TDMA is usually performed in a number of separate bands. a combination of FDMA and TDMA. the same band of frequencies is shared by all the calls. which has the effect of spreading the spectrum to cover the entire assigned band—all the spectrum- spread signals are then sent one top of each other simultaneously and are separated at the receiver. (c) in code-division multiple access (CDMA). (e) with frequency hopping. each digital signal is assigned a unique multiplicative code. each signal corresponding to a telephone conversation is assigned its own exclusive band of frequencies for the duration of the call.224 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems 1 4 Time Time 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 Frequency Frequency (b) TDMA (a) FDMA 1 3 2 4 Time Time 1 3 4 2 4 2 3 1 1 3 Frequency Frequency (c) CDMA (d) FDMA/TDMA 1 2 2 1 Time 1 2 2 1 1 2 Frequency (e) FDMA/TDMA with frequency hopping Figure 9.

The narrow beam of the radio signal minimizes multipaths and can be more powerfully concentrated.3. 6 3 1 5 1 4 2 2 3 (a) Three sectors (b) Six sectors Figure 9. . An omnidirectional antenna would be situated in the center of the cell. Three (a) and six (b) sectors are typical. and a directional antenna with a coverage of 120 deg could be situated at one of the vertices of the cell.3 With sectorization. and a central switching office that controls the operation of the whole system and that interfaces to the public switched telephone network. like wedges in a pie. thereby extending its range. How signals are encoded. a directional antenna is beamed to divide a cell coverage into sectors. and hence are more powerfully concentrated and also are less subject to multipath reflection. the radio equipment located at the cell site. Wireless Telephone Service 225 System operation Cellular mobile telephone service is a system involving the equipment located at the mobile unit. and antenna. Directional antennas are used at the center of a cell to create sectors. The radio beams used with sectorization are more narrow. as shown in Figure 9. A directional antenna is somewhat less sus- ceptible to interference from other cells. The antenna can be either omnidirectional or directional. with three and six sectors being typi- cal where such sectorization is implemented. receiver.4). The antenna and other equipment located at each cell site constitute a base station (see Figure 9. Each cell is served from its own master radio transmitter.

and transmitted determines the differences between the vari- ous implementations of cellular mobile telephone service. All rights reserved. This is an analog system in which each user fully occupies each radio channel of 30 kHz.226 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems Figure 9.4(a) Photograph of cell site. Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) The very first implementation of the cellular mobile concept was the Advanced Mobile Phone System. or AMPS.) combined. AMPS is old technology in an industry that is rushing ahead in terms of market satura- tion and of advances in technology. But AMPS fully utilizes all the features . (Source: Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems ©1986. or base station.

All rights reserved. Each base station in AMPS operates in the 800-900 MHz range.4 (b) Photograph of Figure 9.) and principles of cellular mobile telephone service previously described and listed. giving an average of about 60 channels per cell. AMPS therefore is a good place to start our study of the work- ings of specific implementations of cellular mobile telephone service. Wireless Telephone Service 227 Figure 9. A radio frequency band from 824 to 849 MHz is used to receive signals from the mobile units (the uplink). The wireline carriers use the so-called B band.4a’s cellular antenna. and the nonwireline carriers use the A band. The 416 two-way radio channels for each system are divided over the seven cells that form a clus- ter. each carrier has 416 two-way radio channels. (Source: Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems ©1986. and a band from 869 to 894 MHz is used to transmit signals to the mobile units (the downlink). .

The mobile unit needs to know when an incoming call is occurring and also must be able to dial out to set up a call. information to specify the new frequencies must be sent to it. The radio channels are spaced every 30 kHz in the allocated bands. and when it leaves the range of one base station and enters the range of another base station. it will need to change the frequencies of the radio channels used to transmit to and receive from the base stations. the maximum number of two- way radio channels is 832. The base stations are connected by landlines to a central place called the mobile telephone switching office (MTSO). Because noise immunity is very important. as shown in Figure 9. or a control channel) is used for these purposes. a setup channel. frequency modulation (FM) is used for the radio transmission between the mobile units and the base stations. The mobile unit can move from cell to cell. A shared data channel (also called a paging channel. and a non- portable mobile unit transmits at a maximum effective radiated power of about 7W. Since the bands have a total width of 50 MHz. The MTSO is connected by trunks to the public switched telephone net- work. This is known as a handoff. including the assignment of . FM with a peak deviation of 12 kHz of the carrier is employed with an rms frequency deviation of 2 kHz for a normal speaker. The MTSO supervises and controls the entire operation of the system. This is accomplished by a special code that is transmitted to the mobile unit and causes the mobile unit to decrease. Each level decreases by 4 dB from the preceding level. An important feature with cellular service is the ability to make telephone calls to the mobile unit over the switched public network as if the mobile unit was a normal telephone with its own 10-digit telephone number. This information is transmitted as a short burst of data over the voice channel that is being used. and when this occurs. the MTSO is connected to the public switched network via these trunks. Hence.5. To help control interference. The rela- tive received signal strength of the mobile unit must be monitored. the transmitted power of the mobile unit can be remotely decreased in steps. The code that accomplishes this decrease in transmitted power is called the mobile attenuation code. Half of these channels go to the A band and the other half to the B band. or attenuate. its transmitted power to any one of eight prespecified levels.228 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems The base station transmits with a power of up to 100W.

channels and the changing of frequencies during a handoff. The base stations all communicate over landlines with the mobile telephone switching office (MTSO). which then maintains communication with the public switched telephone network (PSTN).2 kbps. However. The MTSO sends data over the landlines to the base stations for these control and supervisory functions. which is equivalent to a practical limit of 25 messages per . The shared data channel transmits data at a 10-kbps rate.5 The mobile unit communicates by two-way radio with the base station. data encoding and message repeating reduce the actual information rate to 1. Wireless Telephone Service 229 Public switched telephone network Trunks Mobile telephone switching office (MTSO) Land lines Base station Two-way radio Mobile unit Figure 9.

A 15-bit code entered into the mobile unit identifies the home system from which serv- ice is obtained. Each of the two systems has a total of 416 two-way radio channels available for its use in these frequency spaces. to assign the initial frequencies to be used for transmission and reception.5 to 894 MHz for base transmissions. and the A system is operated by a non- wireline carrier. The 50-MHz-wide radio spectrum available for cellular service is divided into two 25-MHz spaces that are assigned for use by the two sepa- rate mobile system operators in each area. in which a 0/1 transition signifies a binary 1 and a 1/0 transition signifies a binary 0. Transmission from the base station to the mobile unit is called the forward direction. with a fre- quency deviation 8 kHz above and below the carrier frequency. divided across the seven cells in a cluster. The B system is operated by a subsidiary of the local wireline telephone company (a Bell company or an independent non-Bell company. The B system uses 835 to 845 MHz and 846.5 MHz for transmissions to the mobile units. Twenty-one channels in the A system. A 32-bit electronic serial number (ESN) is factory set into each mobile unit and can be accessed from the MTSO for security purposes. or setup channels. A 34-bit binary number derived from the 10-digit telephone number assigned to the subscriber uniquely identifies each mobile unit and is entered and stored in the mobile unit.6. such as GTE).5 to 849 MHz for mobile transmissions and 880 to 890 MHz and 891. with usually one channel per cell.230 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems second when fully loaded. and 21 channels in the B sys- tem are used as shared data channels. and transmission form the mobile unit to the base station is called the reverse direction. The mobile unit is programmed to scan all the setup channels and chooses . as shown in Figure 9. where it is used for billing purposes. The shared data channel is used to request service and to identify the mobile unit when its power is turned on.5 MHz for transmissions from the mobile units and frequencies from 869 MHz to 880 MHz and from 890 to 891. The A system uses radio frequencies from 824 MHz to 835 MHz and from 845 to 846. This number is sent by the mobile unit to the MTSO. a so-called A system and B sys- tem. The 21 setup channels are allocated across the cells. The binary data is encoded using a biphase Manchester format. Frequency shift keying is used. and to terminate service.

6. but because of terrain. If the tone is not received back at the base station for a long enough time. The band from 869 MHz to 894 MHz is used for transmission from the base station to the mobile unit (the downlink) and is likewise shared by the A and B systems.970. Supervision of a call is accomplished by out-of-band tones on the voice channel. The MTSO makes a decision about whether a handoff is required by measur- ing the strength of the signal received from the mobile unit every few sec- onds. or SCC) to the mobile unit specifying the specific SAT to be used. A transfer from one radio channel to another is called a handoff. which refers not to a precise geographic location but rather to signal strength. a mobile unit could be geographically closer to one base station. This channel usually corre- sponds to the nearest base station.030 Hz is regularly sent every 1 4 second by the base station to the mobile unit. Wireless Telephone Service 231 A" A B A' B' A" A B A' B' B B B B B B B B B B M M M M M M M M M M Frequency (Hz) Figure 9. and if the actual received SAT . A supervisory audio tone (SAT) of either 5. which then retransmits the tone back to the base station. The band from 824 MHz to 849 MHz is used for transmission from the mobile unit to the base station (the uplink) and is shared by the A and B systems. its signal might actually be more strongly received at a more distant base station.6 Two radio-frequency bands are used for cellular telephone service in the 900-MHz bands by the AMPS system. the setup channel with the strongest signal. it is assumed that the mobile unit has ceased transmitting. Thus.000. This periodic examination of the mobile’s signal is called locating. or 6. The base station sends information (called the SAT color code. The mobile unit can be programmed to scan the setup channels for only one system or to scan both but with a preference for one system over the other.

The round-trip delay of the SAT was at one time suggested as a gross measure of the physical dis- tance of the mobile unit from the base station. to perform flash requests comparable to the hook-flash of a conventional telephone. the base station knows that the mobile unit has answered. The 10-kHz signaling tone is transmitted over the voice channel by the mobile unit to indicate that it is ringing. it continuously monitors the strongest data channel for any transmitted paging messages containing its identification number. It then receives information over the data channel telling it what specific voice channel to use to establish voice communication. When this tone ceases. The AMPS cellular system is designed to handle calls arriving at a mean rate of one call per second in the densest cell. When the mobile unit is turned on but is not being used for an actual call. The data channel is used by the mobile unit to request service. the base station sends a data signal over the voice channel to activate ringing at the mobile unit. The mobile unit decodes this information. and establishes the voice circuit on the new cell. . voice communication is suspended. and to signal a release request when the user wishes to discon- nect the call. changes its transmitting and receiving frequencies to the new channels. A signaling tone (ST) of 10 kHz is sent from the mobile unit to the base station. If the mobile unit recognizes its identification number in any of these paging messages. but received signal strength is now used to determine handoffs.232 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems disagrees. The identity of the mobile unit along with the telephone number of the called party are transmitted over this channel to the base station and then over landlines to the mobile telephone switching office (MTSO). The MTSO then establishes a conventional telephone circuit to the called party. information is sent from the base station to the mobile unit over the voice channel as a very brief burst of digital data. it responds to the page by sending an appropriate data message back to the base station over the data channel. The ST is used to acknowledge any orders from the MTSO. and the two parties are connected to begin their voice conversation. If the channel needs to be changed during a call. All this happens in a frac- tion of a second and is not noticed by the users. Once the voice channel has been established.

but uses TDMA within radio channels that are 200 kHz wide. A vari- ant of it is available in the United States. The European global system for mobile (GSM) communication is also digital TDMA- based. The paging channel is called a broadcast channel (BCH). and the actual two-way communication occurs over a traffic channel (TCH). An even newer approach is to spread the spectrum of the signals over a broad bandwidth and then send many signals at the same time using unique codes to separate them upon reception—the CDMA approach. Digital encoding coupled with TDMA allows three users in the identical 30-kHz radio channel—the digital AMPS (DAMPS) approach. cellular mobile telephony had been so successful that the demand had outstripped capacity. GSM initially stood for Gropue Spéciale Mobile. also known as IS-95. GSM as first introduced in Europe operates in the 900 MHz band (called GSM900). In these newer cellular systems. Wireless Telephone Service 233 Newer cellular systems By 1990. the stationary base station (BS) antenna site is known as a base transceiver station (BTS).7. as shown in Figure 9. A number of BTSs are controlled by a base station controller (BCS) and together form a base station subsystem (BSS). A number of BCSs then connect to the public-switched telephony network (PSTN) through a gateway mobile switching center (GMSC). The EIR contains the serial numbers of authorized mobile units and thus acts as protection against stolen mobile units. solutions were sought to increase the capacity of the existing allocation of radio spectrum space and also to use additional spectrum space. Hence. also known as IS-54. Global System For Mobile (GSM) Communication The Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication was introduced in 1992 as a European standard and has achieved much success there.800 MHz band . The AMPS system allocates a single user per 30-kHz radio channel. and a visitors location register (VLR). and a newer system operates in the 1. a home location register (HLR). The GMSC has access to a variety of databases containing such information as the equipment iden- tity register (EIR).

234 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Trunks Mobile Switching Center (MSC) Land lines BSS BSS Base Station Base Station Controller System (BSS) (BSC) Base Base Base Transceiver Transceiver Transceiver Station Station Station (BTS) (BTS) (BTS) Two-way radio Mobile unit Figure 9. . The BSC and its BTSs form a base station subsytem (BSS). which also is the gateway to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). A number of BSSs are controlled and monitored by the mobile switching center (MSC). The MSC has access to various databases that contain information about the mobile users. A number of BTSs are monitored and controlled by a BSC.7 A mobile unit communicates by two-way radio with a base antenna at the base transceiver station (BTS).

These techniques are so powerful that two bursts lost out of eight bursts can be reconstructed perfectly.8 kbps for the eight circuits that are time-division multiplexed together. Thus there are 260 bits per 20 msec. GSM1800 uses 374 two-way radio circuits in its bands.8 kbps.900 MHz band.785 MHz.880 MHz. and encodes the information for every 20-msec segment of the speech signal into 260 bits. After allowing for a 200-kHz guardband.805 to 1. intended for the United States. which is comparable to the bandwidth assigned each user of AMPS. and such a pair is always chosen to be 45 MHz apart across the two links in GSM900 and 95 MHz apart in GSM1800. including the encoded speech. The 200-kHz radio channel supports a data rate of 270. all the GSM systems are the same in terms of their principles of operation. However. All the data for each circuit. The GSM speech signals are encoded at 13 kbps using a form of predictive coding for compression. An advantage of the GSM approach is that mobile phones can be manufactured that will work in all three bands and thus can be used in any country that has GSM. operates in the 1. This means that each user effectively has 200-kHz/8 = 25 kHz. Wireless Telephone Service 235 (called GSM1800). long-term predic- tion (RPE-LTP) and also known as residual-excited linear predication (RELP). and the downlink radio connection is in a band from 935 to 960 MHz. An uplink and a down- link taken together create a single two-way radio circuit.710 to 1. Error correction is introduced along with interleaving of the signal so that any bursts of data that are destroyed can be reconstructed. the uplink radio connection is in a band from 890 to 915 MHz. Eight users share each 200-kHz radio channel through the use of TDMA. or an overall data rate for the encoded speech signal of 13 kbps. The uplink for GSM1800 operates from 1. Other than operating in different radio bands. The gross bit rate for the encoded speech signal plus channel coding for synchroniza- tion and control increases to 22. A GSM1900 system. and error .85 kbps per speech cir- cuit. A radio channel within each band is 200 kHz wide. In GSM900. The speech coder models the excitation source and the vocal tract. and the downlink operates from 1. these error correction techniques add to the overall bit rate. which then becomes 33. called regular pulse-excited. synchronization. a total of 124 two-way radio circuits are formed in the uplink and downlink bands and are assigned across a cluster of seven cells in GSM900.

The process searches for the radio channel with the highest power and then examines that channel to determine whether it contains a peak in energy about 67 Hz above the center frequency of the radio chan- nel. For example. it most likely will not be occurring at the other frequencies. which is a logical channel created from the assignment of specific time slots in the flow of TDMA data in a radio channel. If the peak is not found.577 msec. data. The approach . Each frame is sent in a repetitive pattern hopping from one frequency to another through all the available radio channels. The time for this entire sequence of ramp-up. and synchronization information are sent as bursts of data in a common control channel (CCCH). The radio carrier is modulated by a technique called Gaussian minimum shift keying (GMSK). which typically takes only a few seconds. Eight bursts. The mobile is passive throughout this acquisition process. which is a form of binary frequency shift keying (FSK). Frequency hopping at the relatively slow frame rate is used—called slow frequency hopping (SFH). Paging. time is allocated to ramp-up and than ramp-down gradually before transmitting the actual data.540 msec. signaling. This is because fading is frequency dependent. it begins an acquisition process to find the radio channel being used to send paging and control information. Frequency hopping reduces the effects of fading. and if fading is occurring at one frequency. the first time slot in the sequence of eight—a frame—might be assigned as the common control channel. or time slots.236 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems correction. This peak corresponds to a sine wave that is transmitted in the control channel for frequency correction purposes—it is called a frequency- correction channel (FCCH). Actu- ally. which then determines when to switch the call to a new radio channel. This approach of creating a virtual channel within the stream of time slots is also used to create the broadcast channel (BCH) for paging of mobile units. When the mobile unit is first turned on. the mobile then searches other radio channels until it is found. of data taken together are called a frame. and only a small amount of data will be lost. and ramp-down is 0. A report is constantly generated and transmitted back to the base station. The mobile unit is programmed to monitor the strength and quality of a sample of the received radio signals from adjacent cells. is sent in a short burst of data lasting about 0.

whether the mobile unit is on but idle or turned off. the system always knows the status of each mobile unit—for example. Digital AMPS uses a digital bandwidth compression technique called linear predictive coding (LPC). Three bursts corresponding to the three signals are sent sequentially every 40 . noise immunity. anyone with a radio receiver tuned to the frequency of a cellular channel could listen to the conversation. Three voice signals are time-division multiplexed together into a single radio channel. Wireless Telephone Service 237 is called a mobile assisted handoff. each mobile user is assigned a temporary mobile subscriber identity (TMSI) for the time that the sub- scriber is using the mobile service. Signaling information and user information is encrypted to protect it from being intercepted and interpreted during radio transmission. With the old analog AMPS cellular system. A GSM handoff is decided on the use of radio signals received at the mobile unit as opposed to AMPS in which a handoff is decided on the strength and quality of the radio signal received at the base station. This card—called a subscriber identity module (SIM)—acts as an identity card for the mobile unit and affords some protection against loss of the mobile unit. and the signal is more secure from someone listening in to the chan- nel. A unique identity number identifies each mobile unit. and synchronization purposes. or MAHO. and additional data is added for handshaking. The identity number is encrypted when transmit- ted over a radio channel. The mobile sends a message to the system when it moves to a new loca- tion so that the system always knows the location of each mobile unit—a process known as registration. With GSM. Digital AMPS (DAMPS) Another solution to the capacity problem is the use of digital technology and TDMA to increase the capacity while staying within the present spec- trum space. A length of 40 msec of each speech signal is analyzed and then sent in a burst. A digital approach can increase the capacity of each channel used. As further security. Each voice signal is encoded at 13 kbps using a form of LPC. and the mobile unit must have a card inserted into it containing this number before it can be activated.

They attempt to connect first using DAMPS and then if no capacity is available. the receiver searches for the appropriate pattern for the desired signal. The final result is a tripling in capacity com- pared to conventional analog AMPS. each voice signal is sent over the full bandwidth of the total spectrum space. The trick is how to separate the jumble of received signals to con- centrate on the desired single signal. Another spread-spectrum technique is frequency hopping. Again. . in which each signal continuously switches channels in a known pattern. which can be sent over a single 30-kHz radio channel. Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Another technology that can increase the capacity of cellular telephony is spread-spectrum transmission. Slow frequency hopping is used in the GSM system. Since each multiplexed signal has its own unique code. Spread-spectrum transmission can be less prone to interference and thus allows more signals to share the same spectrum space. One way is to digitize the voice sig- nals and add a unique signature code to each by multiplying the signal bit stream by a unique signature bit stream. the technique is called CDMA. The receiver then searches for the unique signature code for the desired signal. Each speech signal occupies its own data burst in the TDMA sequence. With spread-spectrum transmission. Spread-spectrum technology in the form of CDMA was advocated and developed for cellular mobile telephone service by Qualcomm. This is somewhat similar to way we can listen to one conversation at a cocktail party even though our ears are being bombarded by dozens of speech signals. Digital AMPS operates in the same 30-kHz radio channels used by AMPS. Modern cell phones can operate in either an AMPS or a DAMPS format. Such cell phones are called dual mode. an AMPS system can be gradually converted to DAMPS by assigning more and more radio channels to it. switch to AMPS.6 kbps.238 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems msec within a 30-kHz cellular channel. The radio signal is modulated using a form of differential phase-shift keying (DPSK). The three signals time-division multiplexed together require a total of 48. In this way.

Whether CDMA will achieve its great promise remains unclear at the time of the writing of this book. The channels operate in uplink and downlink pairs separated by 80 MHz. Each radio channel has a width of 1. If one signal is much larger than all the others. Qualcomm claims considerable superiority of CDMA over all other methods for cellular mobile telephone service in terms of its capacity. The spread-spectrum system was known initially as Qualcomm CDMA and then became formalized for North America as interim standard IS-95. the appropriate pseudoran- dom spreading code is applied to extract the desired signal. Complexity is not neces- sarily a problem with today’s technology. The spread signal fully occupies the 1.2 kbps. the speech quality of the lower bit rates is usually not acceptable. The bit stream is multiplied by a pseudorandom code at a much faster bit rate. the code is called a spreading code. Wireless Telephone Service 239 Incorporated.250-kHz radio channel. and the higher rates must be used. CDMA is also being used by many of the new PCS systems in the United States operating in the 1. . The speech data along with error-correction coding results in a gross bit rate that varies from 2.4 kbps to 19. This means that mobile units have to adjust their transmitting power so that the signals received at the base sta- tion are all the same power regardless of 20-fold in capacity over conventional analog AMPS. The speech signal is encoded and compressed through a technique called Qualcomm code-excited linear prediction (QCELP) at a bit rate that can vary adaptively from 1 kbps to 8 kbps. But CDMA only works if all the received radio signals are about the same strength. Qualcomm claims an increase of from 10. This has the effect of spreading the spectrum over a much greater bandwidth. adopted by the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA).900-MHz band.250-kHz radio channel. it will dominate and the others cannot be recovered. At the receiver. It is now also known as CDMA- One. In practice. but there are far simpler wire- less systems already available in the marketplace. There are also quite complex timing issues with the received signals.250 kHz for a total of 20 radio channels in each direction. It operates in the same 900-MHz band as AMPS. A number of signals are all sent on top of each other in the same 1. All unwanted signals appear as random noise and are ignored.

The foreign cellular system then notifies the roamer’s home system about where the roamer is located. One way to call a roaming mobile unit is for the caller to know the area where the roamer is located and to dial a roamer access number for that area. pro- vided that an agreement exists to hand billing back to the unit’s home sys- tem. some of the systems proposed for high-definition television (HDTV) would use the UHF spectrum. that space would need to be taken from spectrum space presently allocated to UHF television transmission. Reach- ing the mobile unit is another story. and some sys- tems are running out of capacity. there is . However. A better way is GTE’s Follow Me Roaming® service. The question has now become how to achieve more capacity. The TV broadcast industry and the cellular industry are engaged in a battle over this issue of spectrum space. My view is that with cable television passing nearly 90 percent of U. households. the roamer sends a special code to the cellular system. however. Upon entering a foreign cellular area. Billing is not a problem since the mobile unit contains its own iden- tification number along with an identification of its home system. A mobile unit could roam all over the country and make telephone calls. The problem with this method is that the caller must know the roamer access number for the area where the roamer has roamed. The caller then enters the 10-digit number for the mobile. but the UHF broadcasters do not want to relinquish any space. Further- more. along with the strong penetration of VCRs. Cells can only be split a certain number of times before interference becomes a serious problem. The clearest and simplest solution is to add more spectrum space for cellular radio transmission. Any calls to the roamer are then automatically forwarded to the foreign cellular system where a page is made to reach the roamer to complete the call.S. and a page is made by that local system. The continuing search for increased capacity—a personal assessment Cellular telephone service has almost been too successful.240 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems Intersystem roaming A cellular mobile unit will work anywhere there is cellular service.

Each baseband speech signal requires 4 kHz. but do not. Consider the AMPS system with its 30-kHz wide radio channel allo- cated to only a single user—a tremendous waste of valuable spectrum space. the overall capacity could be yet increased by a factor of ten—a net increase of 140-fold! Clearly. Advances in analog technology. In the end. The increase in capacity that could be possible with analog technology would be most impressive. may someday in the future lead to innovations that could make amplitude modulation practical. noise and interference can be a problem with amplitude modulation. Wireless Telephone Service 241 more than enough television diversity and that some more UHF space should be made available for two-way cellular service. The advantage of frequency modulation (FM) is that it has a capture effect in that the strongest FM signal is locked onto by the receiver. A simple way to increase the capacity of a cellular system is the use of single-sideband amplitude modulation (AM) transmission. Although CDMA uses this kind of an approach to increase its capacity. Comparisons must be made on an equal basis to be assured that one is really comparing like items. the capacity could be increased sevenfold. Shannon showed in 1948 that the maximum signal carrying capacity of a communication channel is finite and cannot be exceeded. . If the one-way nature were used. Although single-sideband amplitude modulation is very efficient in its use of spectrum. amplitude modulation is seriously degraded by the fading that is encountered in cellular wireless transmission. From my years at Bell Labs in the 1960s. perhaps coupled with digi- tal processing. As an example. I recall analog vocoders operating at a ten-to- one compression that sounded perfectly natural. However. the great debate between CDMA and other methods over which system has the most capacity must accept that fact that Claude E. the CDMA system takes into account the fact that telephone conversations are really one-way most of the time in the sense that one party is speaking while the other is listening. the capacity could be doubled to a 14-fold increase. If single-sideband suppressed-carrier modulation were used in a simple FDMA approach. other cellular systems could too. We saw how this can be used in transoceanic cable systems to more than double capac- ity using TASI equipment. and all weaker interfering signals are ignored. If they were used. we have not yet seen the end of the progression of innovation in cellular technology.

One alternative approach is to place a single base station high in the sky above the region to be served. The present analog FM scheme is now established as the standard for millions of cellular users.8 kbps. the sat- ellites encounter friction.242 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems It is quite conceivable. however. This means that handoffs must occur to maintain continuous communication. will fall back to earth after about five years. that ways will be invented to improve upon conventional FM and AM techniques to increase the capac- ity of a cellular system without creating serious interference problems. the base stations are fixed and the users are mobile. The first LEO system was developed by Motorola and is called Irid- ium. Low earth orbit (LEO) satellites have already been launched to offer mobile communication. Each orbital plane con- tains 11 satellites so that there will always be a satellite above the area to be served. The satellites move across the sky while overhead. As we saw in a previ- ous chapter. This is no easy task! Satellite mobile communications With terrestrial-based mobile communications. the problem of standardization looms ahead.840 full-duplex circuits with each circuit at 4. and hence will need to be replaced quite frequently. but if placed in geostationary orbit are so high that the round-trip delay is a problem for two-way communication. and a new satellite must come into place before the current one disappears over the horizon. At such a low orbit. The Iridium system is scheduled to be operational in 1998. Each satel- lite in the Iridium system has a capacity of 3. Compressed speech or computer data can be sent in a circuit. The challenge for the cellular industry is to choose a new standard and then migrate toward it while still supplying service to all the users of the older technology. A solution is to place the satellites in a much lower orbit. communication satellites accomplish this. Whatever happens to increase capacity. . Each satellite is in use for about six minutes. A number of fixed base stations are required because of the low-power and frequency nature of cellular wire- less telephone service. It uses 66 satellites in circular polar orbits about the earth in six orbital planes at a height of 420 miles (780 km). and the satellites have already been launched.

Satellites in geostationary earth orbit (GEO) can also be used for mobile communication if the user is willing to tolerate the round-trip delay. This means that their useful duty factor is very low. A call costs about $1. Qualcomm. and others will use 48 satellites in eight inclined circular orbital planes at a height of 754 miles (1. Perhaps one or more will discover very special “niche” markets that can afford the price and have few alternatives. if any. of these approaches will achieve commercial widespread viability. Twelve satellites are to be placed in three orbital polar planes. are supporting the Teledesic LEO system which plans to use 840 satellites in 21 polar planes at a development cost of $9 billion.300 full duplex circuits per satellite. If there is any real market for personal satellite communication. Yet a group of investors. There are few people in rafts in oceans or in the rain forests of South America desiring telephone service and willing to pay a small fortune a minute. There will be a total of 2. The satellites are expected to have life- times of five to seven years. will be overhead about 11 minutes. The TRW Odyssey sys- tem is a MEO system with satellites at a height of 5. Since most of the surface of the earth is oceans. and can each serve 288 full-duplex circuits. The balloon would be at a low enough altitude to avoid any delay problems and also . the satellites will be useless most of the time unless over large metropolitan areas. including at least one billionaire.575 miles (10. The Globalstar system being promoted by Loral. the exist- ing GEO systems already satisfy it.401 km). But the obstacles to overcome are so many that I wonder whether the LEOs and MEOs will ever amount to anything other than a great deal of overpromotion and hot air! One hot-air approach that could make sense is a hot-air balloon situ- ated high above a metropolitan area. Wireless Telephone Service 243 A better compromise with the need to avoid delay yet be at a height so that a reasonable number of satellites is required with fair lifetimes is to place the satellites in medium earth orbit (MEO). Each satellite will be overhead about two hours and will have a lifetime of 15 years.50 a minute. These LEO and MEO satellite systems are very costly and utilize technology that is yet untested. The balloon would carry a micro- wave transceiver system to offer mobile telephone service.354 km). Mobile units for these GEO systems are the size of a laptop com- puter and cost a few thousand dollars. It most certainly is far too early to tell which.

There is one issue over cellular telephone service that could impede its use and ever-continuing growth. but such cumulative health effects could take a few decades of use to appear. however. Although using a cell phone for a few minutes a day is probably not a hazard. The mobile unit is capable of being tuned automatically to any one of the two-way radio channels and can transmit and receive binary data and act on that data. as seems so common for some heavy users. Cellular telephone service is only 15 years old. The effect will certainly be cumulative. Such hot-air balloon systems have been seriously suggested. determine when handoffs are needed. and will appear far in the future in the form of a unilateral brain tumor. and determine billing. Mobiles transmit as much as 1W of microwave power. But because the radio . Cellular telephony—an assessment Cellular telephony involves very sophisticated technology. It is astonishing that mobile units have so shrunk in size that portable cellular phones that fit in a pocket are commonly available. but are also the cause of ever- changing standards that appear to defeat compatibility. I wonder about the hazard of daily use of an hour or more. We thus do not yet know the answer to the potential health hazards of heavy use of cellular phones. and this radiation is directly against the side of the user’s head. The advances in cellular technology are most impressive. The advance of technology still has some challenges to overcome. send and receive data trans- missions from the mobile units. The continued success and growth of wireless communication has created a great demand for increases in capacity. This issue is the health safety of the microwave radiation from the small antenna in the mobile unit. that automobile accidents linked to cell phone use while driving are on the increase. Appropriate localiza- tion methods are under investigation. The mobile telephone switching office must monitor thousands of calls.244 Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems could be retrieved for servicing. One is how to locate physically a mobile unit so that the mobile can be handed to the appropri- ate public safety facility in the case of a call to 911. but some users might be concerned about the potential loss of physical privacy. We do know.

In fact. Alas. When one is driving along a busy free- way. too. it must be easy to place and receive a cellular call. This is one area where synthetic speech could augment the vis- ual display of a telephone number. But these data streams—usually about 13 kbps— though acceptable for compressed speech communication.000-bps rate of uncompressed digital speech. The user can review the dialed number on a visual display before sending it out. In cellular dialing.000 bps are not acceptable to most consumers since the com- pressed speech sound rough and unnatural. and only after the complete number has been entered does the unit send the number to the base station. so calls can be placed without taking one’s eyes off the road ahead. When used to access the Internet or send computer data. as is done in some newer cellular phones for cars. Com- pression is usually a compromise with quality. but a synthesized-speech “read-out” of the number would perhaps be most useful during driving. at 65 miles per hour. such compres- sion is accomplished at bit rates as lows as 8. The challenge for future cellular phones for the car is the user interface. it is not. which requires as much digital capacity as possi- ble.000 bps rather than the usual 64. the existing wireline telephone network could be bypassed . Bit rates lower than about 8. Wireless Telephone Service 245 spectrum is limited. bumper to bumper. would be speech recognition so that the user could speak the digits of the number to be called. Compression algorithms are designed for speech but do not work well for computer data. This had led to the use of speech compression to reduce the bandwidth of each speech signal so that more voice circuits can share the same channel. Cellular mobile telephone service continues to be very exciting with great growth potential. Yet. ways must be discovered to use the existing spec- trum more efficiently. As we saw earlier in this chapter. are low by today’s standard of 56 kbps for modems that work on regular phone lines. The dialing buttons must be well placed for ease of use. Some futurists predict a day when everyone will carry their own personal telephone. So. the user enters the number into the mobile unit. Digital wireless implies to consumers that the quality will be similar to a CD. served by some form of cellular serv- ice. more important than all the technological sophistication is the ease of use of cellular telephony. cell phones need to bypass the speech compression algorithms and offer direct access to the data stream.

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